Massive Houston wedding scam with fake photo albums, cheat sheets ends in guilty plea

A marriage broker pleaded guilty Thursday to running a brazen green card marriage scam, complete with age-appropriate American spouses, Photoshopped wedding albums and cheat sheets to help strangers prepare for interviews with federal agents.

Her lucrative home-spun operation offered the recently acquainted couples a bowl of different-sized wedding rings to chose from before they headed off to tie the knot. Included in her fee was a chauffeured ride to the Harris County courthouse where their nuptials would be carried out, as well as a ride to their immigration interviews.

Ashley “Duyen” Yen Nguyen, 55, a naturalized U.S. citizen in federal custody since May 2019, admitted before U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt she assisted at least 150 Vietnamese immigrants with fake marriages at a cost of up to $80,000 apiece in hopes of they’d gain permanent residency in the United States. She pleaded guilty to one count each of marriage, immigration and mail fraud and one each of money laundering and false statements in tax returns.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Laurence Goldman said in exchange for substantial cooperation with the government prior to sentencing, the Justice Department was prepared to dismiss the remaining charges in two cases against her and would not oppose her request for a downward departure at sentencing. The prosecutor said the government also would not seek denaturalization or oppose her attorney’s forthcoming request that her sentences running concurrently.

Her plea follows those of 54 others, including many of the fake brides and grooms. More than 20 co-defendants have charges pending in the case.

Hoyt asked Nguyen at the in-person hearing whether she’d heard the allegations.

“I hear everything and I agree,” she said.

“Is it true?” the judge asked.

“Yes, it’s true,” she said, repeating the word “guilty” after Hoyt asked her response to each of the five charges.

In addition to arranging other marriages, Nguyen, a trilingual grandmother with no prior criminal record, also personally petitioned officials for legal residency for her own fake spouse, co-defendant Hung Van Nguyen, defendant number 16, who promised to pay $75,000 for the honor.

Her common-law husband was charged with ferrying the couples to court for their on-the-spot unions and to their immigration interviews. Her adult daughter was charged with recruiting former classmates from her Alief high school to be fake spouses in exchange for money.

In some cases Nguyen made arrangements for the American spouses to travel to Vietnam to meet with their soon-to-be husbands or wives. Her business paid for airline tickets and lodging for the travelers and arranged for their passports.

Nguyen’s lawyer told the court Thursday she studied French during college in her native Vietnam. She made a disputed claim to officials early in the investigation that she worked in Houston as a home health aide.

Between August 2013 and April 2019, Nguyen’s wedding business brokered written agreements for dozens of marriages in which immigrants promised to pay $15,000 to $25,000 in installments. In her plea she admitted to handling these monetary exchanges through seven

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Which Engagement Model Is Best For Your Software Project? A Cheat Sheet

The chase towards a cost-efficient approach to software development that could benefit one’s business through the prism of cost and time rationally comes as a challenge to companies seeking to launch the desired product. Which software engagement model will make the right cut is the most concerned question businesses are facing today.

The company’s bet on choosing engagement model has multiple legs: a best fit pricing model, all goals aligned rationally, and a project that gets completed in a timely fashion which further depends on the hindsight of various factors such as company’s experience with other clients, same type of domains covered by them, the amount of time taken for project completion etc.

While these factors certainly depend on the technological aspects, complexities involved, and type of commitments with the client, the company must precisely regard these points as well. On the behalf of the type of engagement models manifested for businesses are- Time and Material, Fixed Price, and Dedicated Team Model. Here’s a detailed study of it:

1. Time and Material (T&M) Engagement Model – The T&M model works best for businesses whose requirements are unclear or are subject to be changed quite often. Here T&M model also plays a greater role when the business demands flexible and agile project execution. Well suited for medium to large projects in this model the business itself carries the related risks of scope, quality of deliverables and project management.

Here the software development company assigns a dedicated team to the customer and the actual time spent in the project development is charged. Generally the service providers are paid on account of the number of developer’s hours engaged in the project or writing the code.

Pros of Choosing Time and Material Model:

• Well adapted to changes driven project;

• Full control on what buyer wants to get done.

2. Fixed Price Model – The fixed price model is ideal for businesses whose requirements are well defined, plans are well set, and there are almost little chances of changes. The fixed price model also works wonder when buyers require quick turnaround time to project completion. Unlike time and material model, here the service provider and the customer both carry some scope-related risk. But as stated in the agreement changes to the project are subject to change in price.

Pros of Choosing Fixed Price Model:

• A defined scope and fixed budget;

• No potential disagreements;

• No inflated expenses report at the end.

3. Dedicated Team Model – Dedicated team model is a virtual extension of client’s in-house development team where the client and outsource provider mutually agree on the workload and project requirements for the specified time period and the service provider or the outsource company provides IT professionals that befit clients demands and fully focus on projects for one company at a time.

This model is well suited for long-term projects, where requirements are unclear and scope of the project keeps changing frequently.

Pros of Choosing Dedicated Team Model:

• Complete …

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